When you were a teenager or young adult, did you work in fast food, or wait tables? I sure did. I worked many different jobs as a teen and college student, but I certainly put in my time at McDonald's and spent several years as a waitress. Most of us did. It's one more thing teenagers aspire to, after getting their driver's license.
Quite a few years ago, when our family was in pretty desperate shape, I took a part time job waiting tables again, so that I could work when my husband came home from his job. Anyone that I tell this story to is shocked, since I had that shiny college degree. But if you've read any of my posts, you'll know that these decisions are always made with family as the priority. This situation allowed me to be with our kids all day, still homeschooling, and then my husband was with them at night, feeding them dinner and putting everyone to bed.
But I got an ugly reminder during that time of what's out in the workplace. And you know what? It's what's in the public school, only much worse. The talk, the behavior, the lack of morals...it all took me right back to the early 90's when I was suddenly jolted out of my very protected home to what people like to call "the real world." Boys and men were crude and rude and inappropriate. Girls and women were hard to distinguish from men in their behavior. No one prided themselves on a job well done. Work ethic? It was nonexistent.
When I went back to waiting tables as an adult, I realized I could not willingly send my daughters (or my sons) into this atmosphere to earn a few bucks. As long as possible, my job is to protect them from the world, and I could not do it this way.
So we began discussions early on about earning money in acceptable ways. They would mention, from time to time, that they'd like to work at the local Taco place, but we all knew that was not the plan. All of our children are encouraged in entrepreneurship at a young age.
So, what does this look like in our home?
I've told you about my oldest daughter's sewing. My second daughter, Chloe, also enjoys sewing, and was highly inspired by her sister to "make and sell things." Her first project was a reversible purse for herself, which resulted in requests by others.
The first request was to have this same pursed turned into a camera bag. She took on the challenge!
She currently sells her bags in my Esty shop. A new one is in progress, and she just received a custom order this week.
My oldest, Claudia, has just begun a new venture: Origami Owl. You may have seen their beautiful lockets on a friend or floating around the web:
This is such a fun company! And the reason Claudia got into it is because they welcome girls 14 and up, and Mother-Daughter teams as well. So she is starting her own business, setting her own hours, learning to manage expenses and learning about profits, practicing public speaking and presentations, and avoiding McDonald's! She's her own boss (with guidance from Mom), and her mentor is a wonderful friend of ours in our local homeschool group. And the best part? Chloe and I get to mix and match charms and lockets and wear them everyday!
So, we don't know how to spin flax or weave fine linen, and they have not purchased a field yet, : ) but they are both learning how to earn income in ways that will benefit them throughout their lives. THIS is the goal, as they remain under the protection of our home until marriage.